Bauer has developed two solid hockey stick lines that have been experiencing some great success. The one95 made waves last year with its release, offering explosive power and a great balanced feel. Ovi was even seen putting a couple pucks in the back of the net with one (probably much to his sponsors dismay). This year has brought the new and re-amped Vapor stick, the X:60 offering a great feel, and intelli-sense shot technology.
Bauer has developed two stick lines in attempt to have at least one stick that will appeal to any player on the ice. The Supreme stick line is the power line. The Bauer Supreme stick has a Mid-Low flex point that allows the stick to load up maximum energy on every shot. Since it does not have as low of a kick point it will not have as quick of a shot release. It’s shot release though is nothing to sneeze at, I would not characterize it as slow. Bauer just put their main focus on power with this line. But that does not mean they forgot about everything else. This stick design makes the Supreme line ideal for monster slappers from the point, and explosive one-timers.
The Vapor line was generated with the finesse player in mind. This stick line is for players that focuses on puck handling and a quick shot release. Bauer has introduced their micro-feel II shaft dimensions that gives the stick a comfortable feel in your hands. According to Bauer it helps improve puck handling. The Vapor stick line excels with wrist and snap shots, offering a lower kick point and quick shot release than that Supreme line. This year Bauer introduced the Intelli-Sense shot technology, which changes the flex point, based upon your lower hand position. This works toward making the X60 stick great all over the ice. So it can still handle slappers and one-timers but a main focus is on the wrist and snap shots.
The Next Big Thing… The Easton Stealth S19 Z-SHOCK helmet. Easton is gearing up to revolutionize the helmet market just as they did the stick market with the introduction of a one-piece composite stick back in 1999. The Stealth S19 Z-SHOCK is a one-piece composite helmet. That’s right! The S19 laminates EPP foam and the plastic polycarbonate shell as one unit. This construction delivers new higher levels of protection at nearly HALF the weight of current hockey helmets.
The increase in protection and reduction in weight is achieved from the one-piece design which allows Easton to replace air gaps created by layers of plastic found in traditional two-piece helmets with protective EPP foam. Since they can fill these gaps with protective foam they can actually use a thinner layer of the foam throughout the helmet to achieve the required protection level. And since the components of the S19 helmet are laminated together acting as one solid state, this design allows the helmet to absorb impacts better increasing the level of protection beyond two-piece helmets.
Since the S19 helmet is a one-piece design a performance fit is achieved through 5 different shell sizes, oversized comfort pads and a micro adjustable back strap.
The S19 helmet definitely passes the mirror test with at minimum a 20% reduction in the overall outer dimensions when compared to other popular high-end helmets on the market today. It delivers that sought after slim, non-bubble head look that has made Bauer 4000 and CCM 652 styled helmets so popular for years yet in a more protective and lighter helmet. That’s why NHL players are referring to it as the Next Big Thing. And I would have to agree.
Easton is planning on showcasing S19 in the upcoming 2010 Olympics and delivering it to InlineWarehouse.com and IceWarehouse.com in April. The first delivery will consist of black, white, navy and red color ways, with 10 more colors to be released in June. The helmet will only be available in a helmet only version and the MSRP will be $169.99. Easton will sell separately a Stealth S19 wire cage that will pair up nicely with the helmet. The S19 cage will offer rectangular shaped bars throughout the mask for enhanced vision and a dual density, moisture wicking chin cup.
Bauer recently showed us the 2010 Supreme TotalOne ice skate. And as the name states this skate offers the total package: A customizable fit and flex with lightweight, performance improving technology.
The uppers of the TotalOne skate offer Bauer’s ALIVE composite material. As seen on the current ONE95 skate, ALIVE uppers are completely thermoformable, allowing the TotalOne to offer a true custom 360-degree fit. Fitted with the right size, the ALIVE uppers will form ideally around a medium to wide foot providing a custom fit that will reduce negative space in the boot, improving the player’s fit and ultimately performance on the ice.
The TotalOne will also allow the player to customize the flex of the boot. Bauer’s new Reflex tongue is a thin, molded foam tongue with a white felt backing that has a pocket on the face to insert a stiffener. The skate will come with 3 different insert sets, to allow the player to choose the correct stiffener to meet their skating and comfort needs. The stiffeners are made out of Bauer’s ALIVE material which will allow the tongue to act like a springboard: As the player flexes forward, the skate responds and lets the player spring back.
The Supreme TotalOne skate will also sport Bauer’s new Tuuk LS Fusion Runner. The Fusion runner will feature high grade Aluminum on the top section of the runner and Stainless steel on the bottom. Replacing part of the stainless steel runner with lighter weight Aluminum reduces the overall weight of the runner when compared to anything else on the ice by 27%. And yes, Bauer will sell the LS Fusion runners separately so players can upgrade their current Bauer skates that have the Tuuk Lightspeed holders. The LS Fusion will be available in May, but this weight saving technology will come with a lofty MSRP of $199.99/set.
Out of all the hockey companies, Bauer is known for spending the most money in R&D and it really shows in the TotalOne skate. However, I think my favorite feature of the TotalOne is probably the most low tech, inexpensive piece on the boot. Bauer has wrapped the top edges of the boot with a soft leather-like material. This alleviates abrasion high on the ankle during the break-in process of the boot. A feature once only available on custom pro boots is now part of the TotalOne’s custom fit package.
The Bauer Supreme TotalOne skate is expected to be available in limited quantities April. You may pre-order a pair at IceWarehouse.com. The TotalOne will sell for $799.99.